Mike Mangini is having a hell of a week. Mangini parted ways with Dream Theater yesterday as Mike Portnoy returned to the band, and now he's announced his new solo album Invisible Signs for November 11. The record features Tony Dickinson on bass, Ivan Keller on guitar, Firewind guitarist Gus G. on lead guitar, and ex-Evanescence guitarist Jen Majura on vocals.
On the latest single 'Not Drowning', Mangini said: "While listening to the chorus part of this song sometime in 2018, I heard word sounds in my mind and the word 'drowning' fit it pretty well. I didn't want to write about it literally though. Also, the lyrics on this album aren't about personal events or stories and they're supposed to be simple and quickly digestible, not complex like the content (below) that I found. This album is purposefully not 'prog' in any way.
"Searching terms related to 'drowning' eventually led me to the word 'confusion.' That made me think of the confusion surrounding the findings of Quantum Mechanics. I found instances of physicists and mathematicians saying that the test results seemed strange and 'wrong,' and that they could not reconcile it with their view of reality.
"Some said there are things about it we cannot know, or maybe are not supposed to know. It seemed to me that spending too much time immersing oneself in it can make a person crazy. Einstein died confounded by it spending countless hours trying to recocile it with the reality he knew. The myriad of unfounded conjectures outside the physics community conjured up a comedy skit in my mind, yet there is something that is not adding up at the very core of it all and that's not funny. The lines 'Not Drowning' and 'I will breathe' each relate to the hope of clearing away what is blurring the reality of something in all kinds of situations.
"For a song lyric, I suspected that singing about physics wouldn't be as common as the idea of jumping in a saltwater pool. I needed a descriptive location for it. 'Backyard' didn't work, so I used the word 'nation' because everyone lives in one. That word led me to 'radiation,' as that's what heats up a pool and has a cool sound to it when sung. Mainly, words come to me as sounds, then I search around and form something cohesive, but try not to sacrifice how the words sound.
"I thought this might be interesting to know about. At the end of the day, however, it's just a song for rocking out! And then there's the simultaneous 7/8 in Common Time and a wild solo section for the Musos!"
Pre-orders for Invisible Signs are available here.